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Have dice, will [game design].

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Had a very interesting experience playing D&D the other night. One of our players was getting caught up to where we were since they missed a session, so we were basically just watching them do a skill challenge while not saying anything so that they could go through it "organically". Not my personal choice, but the DM likes to run their games a certain way and overall it's been a really fun campaign so far.

    Your basic D&D 5E mechanics don't really give you a lot of tools for scenes where characters are just working towards a goal (if that goal isn't killing something). You roll a skill check and you either succeed or fail. It's entirely up to the DM to figure out things like failing forward, how difficult accomplishing this goal should be, what skill checks should be relevant, and so on. So the game design part comes in because I got to look at this through the lens of the system I made for Bread Space and think through how this would have worked in my game. It was such a treat to watch this and think "oh my gosh, I think the game I made might actually be good!" I'll compare and contrast to show what I mean:


    In D&D 5E, a PC needs to get through some difficult terrain and pick up the trail of their allies:
    1. The DM sets the scene and asks the player what they want to do.
    2. The player comes up with an idea, asks if they can do it.
    3. DM says yes and tells them to roll a skill check.
    4. The player rolls, fails. What they wanted to do doesn't work.
    5. Repeat steps 2-4, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding.
    6. We always know what the PC is trying to accomplish, but it's never clear how hard anything should be or how many skill checks it should take.
    7. Eventually the player has enough good rolls, and they finally succeed.


    In my system, a PC needs to get through some difficult terrain and pick up the trail of their allies:
    1. The GM agrees with the player that the Goals of this Scene are get across the river and find out where your friends went.
    2. The GM think this shouldn't be too hard, but should still take some time. They set the Scene Level to 2. There's only one PC present, so they have 60 HP to divide between the two Goals.
    3. The GM gives 20 HP to get across the river because it should be just a minor setback. The real meat of the Scene is finding out where your friends went, so that Goal gets 40 HP.
    4. The player is roleplaying that their character is frustrated about having to do all of this and kind of sad that they were left behind. With this in mind, the GM gives the Scene two Moves: After two Checks, gain one Trouble; and When a Goal is completed, a PC loses 1 Stamina.
    5. The player comes up with an idea and makes a Check, getting a result of 10. Not great, but not the worst. They can't outright fail, so even a bad check still gets them halfway to their Goal.
    6. The GM subtracts that 10 from get across the river and tells the player that they got their rope tied off and are starting to ford the river, but they're not across yet.
    7. The player makes another Check, and this time uses a Move that lets them divide their Check between multiple Goals. They get a 20 this time, and divide it evenly between the two Goals. That's enough to get them the rest of the way across the river, and it gets them started on picking up the trail when they get there.
    8. The GM marks down a point of Trouble (from the Scene Move), and tells the player that their character is tired and frustrated from having to ford the river so they lose 1 Stamina (from the other Scene Move), but they're across. And they can see a pretty clear set of footprints on the riverbank (the 10 HP being subtracted from the second Goal).
    9. The player continues to make Checks until the second Goal is complete. It's a mix of good and bad rolls, resulting in two more points of Trouble for the GM to spend later. When find out where your friends went is complete, the PC loses one more Stamina to represent the scrapes, bruises, exhaustion, and frustration of getting through the woods.


    I think the biggest stand out for me as I thought through this was how helpful it is to have a sort of narrative momentum baked right into the system. The players literally can't fail, which might sound wrong at first, but I think it allows for a much more interesting story because something is always happening. Sure, in D&D a good DM can make the choice to use fail forward or succeed at a cost instead of just saying "no it doesn't work," but that's a deliberate decision to go beyond the rules of the game. In my system, even a bad roll still gets you closer to your goal. You could still make the choice to say "no that doesn't work," but the PC is making progress regardless, because finding out that this approach won't work is still getting them closer to their goal.

    Anyway, that was a nice bit of reinforcement for myself to keep working on these games. I'm reformatting and revising One Eldritch Summer for a print edition with updated rules (porting over the Scene system from Bread Space) and more content, and I'm pretty happy about where it's going. I want to do the same with Bread Space eventually, but I'm focused on OES right now because I want to get it updated and proofed in time for Halloween season since it's horror-themed.

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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    Honestly, Denada, that just sounds like clocks. I like that you D&Dified it a bit for the target audience, but I don't know that you need to add game layers to clocks.

    That being said, HP for non-combat uses is a good place to create buy in for that crowd, I think.

    Whelk on
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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Whelk wrote: »
    Honestly, Serpents, that just sounds like clocks. I like that you D&Dified it a bit for the target audience, but I don't know that you need to add game layers to clocks.

    That being said, HP for non-combat uses is a good place to create buy in for that crowd, I think.

    I think you meant me, apologies if not. Yeah, they're clocks. From a chronological perspective, I'd actually be inclined to flip it around and say that clocks are just HP by a different name.

    Take this example from Blades in the Dark:
    Blades SRD wrote:
    Complex enemy threats can be broken into several “layers,” each with its own progress clock. For example, the dockside gangs’ HQ might have a “Perimeter Security” clock, an “Interior Guards” clock, and an “Office Security” clock. The crew would have to make their way through all three layers to reach the gang boss’ personal safe and valuables within.

    Remember that a clock tracks progress. It reflects the fictional situation, so the group can gauge how they’re doing. A clock is like a speedometer in a car. It shows the speed of the vehicle—it doesn’t determine the speed.

    In this example, you have three monsters (progress clocks): Perimeter Security, Interior Guards, and Office Security. Each one would be assigned some HP (segments), and when the players make action rolls, they do a certain amount of damage (ticks). The underlying mechanic is the same whether you're a Fighter attacking a kobold, or a Lurk breaking into an office: You're making skill checks to try to get a number to 0.

    Both D&D 5E and Blades in the Dark are asking the same fundamental question with the same fundamental mechanic: Can the character do what they're trying to do?

    The game layers added on top of that and the language used to describe those layers are of course what make these different games that feel very different to play. But squint hard enough and even D&D is just clocks, or said another way Blades is still monsters with HP.

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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    Oh, my bad, I misread who posted entirely, I'm sorry, Denada. Fixed it.

    I agree with what you're saying, and I like that it's abstracted in a way that the skill challenges from 4e are not. The X successes before Y failures is essentially a goal clock and a failure clock.

    My question is: does the granularity difference between a success as a unit of progress versus the skill result value as units of progress matter in a fundamental way? They are very similar superficially, but the increased bookkeeping of one versus the other without counting the advantage of a simple visual shorthand hasn't sold me on it.

    I find the idea of stamina drain and time as explicit costs/negative repercussions to be the more interesting part of what you're playing around with. I think this is the part where my unfamiliarity with your projects makes it harder to gauge, though. If the granularity of the check helps lean more into these secondary consequences, then I like it.

    Whelk on
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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    The issue I wanted to address with using the roll directly is specifically that I wanted to remove "failure" as a possibility. If I added the clock segments for example, then I would need to define a point at which a roll would equal one or more segments (success). That means there would have to be a point where a roll equals no segments (failure). By taking the roll directly, it's no longer possible for it to not "matter" even if it was the worst possible result.

    The drivers for this kind of resolution mechanic were two-fold. First was my personal experience playing D&D for so many years, and seeing so many people both new and old having tons of fun before their face falls at the words "you miss" and having to "waste" their turn when nothing happens. It's just kind of a bummer feeling and I like the idea that your worst roll still does something even if it isn't much.

    The second driver was much more practical. Both One Eldritch Summer and Bread Space were developed for PocketQuest, a game jam with a 20-page limit. My first iteration of the rules was actually a pretty standard d20 clone, but I ran out of pages before I even got to character creation. Then I turned to clocks more in the style of Blades in the Dark, but was still dealing with too many rules and layers and running out of room. So I gave it more thought and decided, hey if I'm using these rolls to decide how much of the clock is ticked, how about I just use the roll?

    Also, making the consequences and responses of the game world into separate moves performed by the GM opens up some neat options for how the GM can challenge the players. If you want the players to feel a time pressure, then you can have moves that trigger after every check or every few checks. If you want them to feel overwhelmed, you can have moves that apply conditions that make their checks harder. In One Eldritch Summer, which has a time loop mechanic and expects a certain amount of character death (it's how PCs level up), you have moves that just straight up kill the party. By playing around with the triggers, costs, and effects of your moves, you can emulate tons of different consequences and actions.

    So now I've got a system that I think is pretty nifty. It's really simple in that there's only ever one kind of dice roll (roll a pool of dice, pick two and add them together), but really flexible in how it can interact with the fiction.

    Denada on
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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    I actually really like that as laid out. Failing forward is a great tool but not foundational to many systems. I wonder what the math on number of checks per unit of difficulty would be. Do you have any thoughts on an expected number of rolls per challenge/scene? Will you be strictly creating the GM moves or leaving them more freeform?

    Also, I am remembering One Eldritch Summer a little more now, that level up mechanic is so clever

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The best I could do on probability was look at what a basic dice pool would typically be (1d20,1d8,1d6) and come to a rough average result of around 14. Depending on special abilities and circumstances you might have more dice, or bigger dice, or maybe you reroll one of them if it's a low value, and so on, but I decided to stick with an average result of 14. Being able to enhance your check usually costs Advantage or requires special circumstances (or both) so it should break the probability in my opinion.

    Anyway assuming an average check of 14, and knowing that I would want any Scene to survive at least a few checks (otherwise what's the point of going through the effort to set a Scene) I give the GM 30 HP per PC for a level 1 Scene. That should on average give everyone enough time to make two checks, leaving a bit of wiggle room for an extra few points from good rolls or enhanced dice pools which should be happening fairly often if the players are being creative. Scene Level also determines how many Scene Moves the GM should add, both because more Moves makes the Scene more difficult and because a Scene with only 90 HP but like 5 Moves would be kind of ridiculous. In both cases though they're just guidelines. They're what an average Scene should be like, so GMs can tweak those numbers if they want a Scene to be harder or easier than a typical Scene of that level.

    For Moves, they're freeform with building blocks. I have tables in Bread Space that give some triggers, costs, and effects and a few brief notes on how to put them together, but this is a part I really want to expand on as I port the rules back over to One Eldritch Summer and am no longer beholden to a 20-page limit. I'd like to dive deeper into building Scenes and Moves with more guidance, options, and a sort of Move-ster Manual with a bunch of prebuilt Moves that people can use if they don't want to make their own on the spot.

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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    Yeah, with that variance of die size, you'd have to make some assumptions, shit that's not a bad thing. It's also less important in a PvE game to have super strict math for this kind of thing, imo.

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    DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Yeah I honestly couldn't find a dice probability calculator that could handle my particular mechanic (a mixed dice pool, add the two highest numbers) let alone the different ways that a pool might be modified. I'm sure there's some way to figure it out but like you said I think the dirty math is good enough for this system's purposes.

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    MaclayMaclay Insquequo Totus Es Unus Here and ThereRegistered User regular
    That's a lot like a Cortex roll (Cortex Prime Calculator) with the unfortunate exception that Cortex doesn't use d20s. I don't know if there's a way to simulate a d20 with smaller dice maybe? The linked calculator is based off something called Icepool though, so if you know any Python you could potentially account for it

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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    In regards to the "failing forward" idea in RPGs, I once thought that failure had to always mean something equally as interesting as success. Now, I still believe that failure should not result in "nothing happens, roll again", but I am softening on the idea that it always has to have an interesting and fun result. In that case, rolling a test basically becomes "which fun direction do you want the story to go?" Which is fine in a strictly storytelling engine, but many people also want an RPG to be a game, so there should be an incentive to try to succeed at your rolls. This inherently means that failure should be "less fun" than success, while still being a fun thing that happens.

    Even as I write this, it sounds strange to say that a game designer or GM should ever opt for a "less fun" option to be possible. But let me explain how I got there.

    Losing a game of Pandemic is never fun. It never feels like failing forward, it never feels epic or interesting. The wind is out of your sails and you are disappointed. Maybe it was tense and exciting at the end, but when you draw the losing card itself, its nothing but bad vibes. Yet Pandemic is a fun game. So where does the fun come from losing? From the fact that the game is short, so after you lose you reset and try again. And then, when you win, your win is 10x as fun because your previous loss proved that winning is not inevitable.

    So while I don't think failing a skill check in an RPG should lead to total deflation, I think it's okay to accept that it will feel a little anticlimactic, simply because the possibility of "unfun failures" makes the fun successes more fun (because they are not guaranteed".

    Something to think about both in the GMing stage, and at the base level of designing the system itself.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    In regards to the "failing forward" idea in RPGs, I once thought that failure had to always mean something equally as interesting as success. Now, I still believe that failure should not result in "nothing happens, roll again", but I am softening on the idea that it always has to have an interesting and fun result. In that case, rolling a test basically becomes "which fun direction do you want the story to go?" Which is fine in a strictly storytelling engine, but many people also want an RPG to be a game, so there should be an incentive to try to succeed at your rolls. This inherently means that failure should be "less fun" than success, while still being a fun thing that happens.

    Even as I write this, it sounds strange to say that a game designer or GM should ever opt for a "less fun" option to be possible. But let me explain how I got there.

    Losing a game of Pandemic is never fun. It never feels like failing forward, it never feels epic or interesting. The wind is out of your sails and you are disappointed. Maybe it was tense and exciting at the end, but when you draw the losing card itself, its nothing but bad vibes. Yet Pandemic is a fun game. So where does the fun come from losing? From the fact that the game is short, so after you lose you reset and try again. And then, when you win, your win is 10x as fun because your previous loss proved that winning is not inevitable.

    So while I don't think failing a skill check in an RPG should lead to total deflation, I think it's okay to accept that it will feel a little anticlimactic, simply because the possibility of "unfun failures" makes the fun successes more fun (because they are not guaranteed".

    Something to think about both in the GMing stage, and at the base level of designing the system itself.

    I don’t think the idea of fail forward is really about making everything a kind of success / fun, it’s just…

    So you’ve got your classic thief needs to unlock a door scenario. Rules as written for your pass/fail systems, you’re either opening that door or not. Naturally, no one does that even if they’ve never so much as seen a different system.

    What we do instead is:
    - You can’t open the door, but look! That window is open. How are you getting up there?
    - You can open it, if you’re willing to waste time.
    - You have opened it, but you were noisy enough as you fiddled around that there’s now a guard on the other side.
    - You can’t open it in the stealthy manner you’d like, but you can axe your way in.
    - It’s a bust. Maybe check ‘round the back for another door or cause a ruckus out here and see if they open the door themselves. They probably don’t want their orchard fireballed.
    - You crack the lock. You’re in, but you’re now on a countdown until someone notices.
    - You can open the door, if you’re willing to snap your lock pick.
    - You can open the door, if you’re willing to expend X, push yourself, use other risky mechanic a particular system has.

    You might not want to get into a fight, that’s the whole reason they’re sneaking about, but it is interesting. Expending your X might not be fun, but it ups the tension. That was your last X!

    Endless_Serpents on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    As for Heat of the Void, I’ve been enjoying the sun rather than writing. The basis of it is like so:

    The aim of the game is to retrieve and bank the most cargo before the last cargo is banked.

    ———

    First, place four quadrants adjacent to each other to form a single playing board—we’ll call this the sector.

    Once complete, place an imperial husk in the middle of the sector.

    Next, each player selects one bag of scavenger tiles. Each player sets aside a mothership and two scavengers drawn from their bag.

    Determine which player will set up first. They place their mothership and initial scavengers along the outer edge of the sector on one side. The other players do the same. No two players can begin from the same side.

    Finally, four cargo cards are drawn from the deck and lined up to match the sector. The first card drawn always represents the top-left quadrant, the second is always top-right, followed by bottom-left and bottom-right. Place cargo down on the sector as shown.


    ———

    The player who placed their mothership first takes the first turn. Play alternates back and forth with each player taking a turn in order.

    Each turn, a player must roll three six-sided dice and record the results. Then, a player can:

    * Move a scavenger a number of times up to their velocity. Each move expends a die to move as far as the result in a straight line. After moving, the scavenger must face in the direction of travel. Once a scavenger has ended a move, it may fire on a rival scavenger in range. Up to three scavengers can be moved during a turn.
    * If a result matches the system cost of one of your scavengers, expend that die to engage its system. Systems grant unique effects, changing the sector permanently.
    * Expend a die to draw a scavenger from your bag. Place the scavenger adjacent to your mothership.

    What I once imagined to be a war-game where you field a predetermined set of units, it’s now way more of a party game where you’ve got to work with what you end up with.

    Since it’s all about making best use of your dice, and dice are random, I’m thinking I’ll make the best system powers (these are just a piece’s signature ability, such as placing a hazard tile behind them) run off results of 1 and 2, to off-set the low movement that grants. Not that you’ll always want to move 6 squares, as this game effectively has chutes/snakes/ladders—whatever you wanna call that feature where you’re forced to move along a predefined track if you land on it.

    At the moment I think it’s a real shame it needs some cards, but I can’t think how else to distribute cargo across the board in a fair yet unrepetitive manner.

    I’m actually gunning to make this game now, so rather than post it here it’s playtesting season. I’m hoping it works best with four players, because another way to off-set the randomness is choosing to gang up on whoever is currently winning, if only briefly. Probably won’t post about it again for some time!

    Endless_Serpents on
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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    I always thought of failures as a poorly used pacing mechanism for a lot of games.

    @Endless_Serpents instead of cards, you could do double sided tokens that go into predetermined spots and you flip over to show the results. You could also have players alternate placeing them, and then flip them over at a reveal stage. Or you could number the spaces where cargo can potentially be and roll off for it. There's a lot of ways to not use cards. Tokens give you ways to turn dead enemy ships into cargo too.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Whelk wrote: »
    I always thought of failures as a poorly used pacing mechanism for a lot of games.

    @Endless_Serpents instead of cards, you could do double sided tokens that go into predetermined spots and you flip over to show the results. You could also have players alternate placeing them, and then flip them over at a reveal stage. Or you could number the spaces where cargo can potentially be and roll off for it. There's a lot of ways to not use cards. Tokens give you ways to turn dead enemy ships into cargo too.

    Yeah I’m looking into it Whelk. Good suggestions!

    Just a quick one, is anyone interested in some cover art or even just a piece for fun? I’m the best bad artist you’ll find!

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Looking at the Paths forced me to re-evaluate the leveling system. Sadly, I think its time to give up on my expansive vision of complex cultivation and move to a simpler system.

    Well, with that updated, we can take a look at our first path: the Bull! Master of rage and regeneration, he turns his pain into bonuses and powers his Arts with the power of Blooooooood.

    https://www.selnalora.com/players/path/bull/index.html

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    And - forgive the double post - here we have the transformative path of the Doe. An unknown entity that wanders Seln, the Doe changes those who lay eyes upon her. They find themselves compelled upon her Path; body, mind, and spirit must tread new ways.

    A Path that leads beyond the borders of Kingdom and folk.

    Also known as "the Path most likely to result in Gavindel sticking his foot in his mouth"

    https://www.selnalora.com/players/path/doe/index.html

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Good stuff gavindel! Keep it up!

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I must confess, I prefer the Doe to the Bull for reasons I can’t yet articulate, I’ll get back to you.

    Meanwhile just for fun I’m making the worst OSR game imaginable and greatly enjoying it.

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Because the Doe is low key terrifying? You had a wife, you had kids, you worked your living. Then one day you went hiking, and you met the Wild, and a shard of it rooted in you. Once touched, there is no way back...

    I do worry a bit about how the gender stuff will land. Sensitive topic. But I also wanted a good spread of paths. Floran paths skew feminine; Aloran paths skew masculine; the Doe doesn't care what gender you were

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    gavindel wrote: »
    Because the Doe is low key terrifying? You had a wife, you had kids, you worked your living. Then one day you went hiking, and you met the Wild, and a shard of it rooted in you. Once touched, there is no way back...

    I do worry a bit about how the gender stuff will land. Sensitive topic. But I also wanted a good spread of paths. Floran paths skew feminine; Aloran paths skew masculine; the Doe doesn't care what gender you were

    I’m thinking more just the mechanics of it. I like the idea of transferring charge between allies, for example.

    I’m not sure if I get the gender stuff. Could you write it simply here?



    I’m gonna be taking a break from the forum shortly, as I pin down a lot of my complete games that need to be put into a single document with art and guides for play, all that stuff you’d need to publish something and more importantly, allow others to run the games.

    I’ve been looking into buying a website, or a few even, but I’m having trouble deciding on who I’m doing to run it through. “Carrd” seems interesting, then you’ve got the more well known SquareSpace. I’d love to have the infinite scrolling style the Mörk Borg website has.

    Anyone here got any knowledge in the field?

    Endless_Serpents on
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Depends what you want. I'm just using Hugo to generate a website based on markdown files.

    https://gohugo.io/

    So I write:
    ---
    title: "Doe"
    weight: 40
    ---

    ## About

    ### Public Knowledge

    Every year, hunters return from the wilds with far-fetched claims of the Doe. According to the woodlore, she is the first spirit of Seln, first to ever step hoof upon its ground; she who brings the Spring and new life. She cannot be caught; cannot be tamed. Only the luckiest and the craftiest of woodsmen might one glimpse her passage.

    Though this story is prevalent in the wild settlements, it meets with scorn in the cities. Most that espouse to have seen the Doe are disheveled and quite possibly drunk huntsmen in town to sell their harvest and buy more beer. Such fools mistake spirits for gods!

    Tales of the Doe vary across the Kingdom.

    In Seln Alora: _Please? The Doe? My nanny told me stories of her stalking the quiet trails of the Scalewood to put me to bed! She might make for a pleasing story, but there is no need to exaggerate one’s encounters with a particularly svelte fawn._

    And it converts to what you see on the website.

    Depending on your comfort level with command line, CSS, and other web stuff, you can either use a pre-existing theme (of which there are hundreds) or make one yourself.

    Personally I'm a little biased against Wordpress/Squarespace style websites. They always end up feeling so sameish and vaguely business casual.

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Well, at risk of monopolizing this thread, have two more Paths:

    The legendary Ember Dancers, long since vanished from Fae machinations, whose dances draw all into the rhythm. Haste your friends, freeze your enemies, and dance your frenemies off a cliff! https://www.selnalora.com/players/path/emberdancer/index.html

    Then the Halo, angel-aspect of Light. Being a newly discovered element, this is the sole path of Light. Who are these strange "children of the heavens" granted a place in the Heavenly Order, and just how suicidal are they that their leader would dare to assault Losthome?! https://www.selnalora.com/players/path/halo/index.html

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    No dramas, it’ll pick up again some time!

    Keep it up.

    ———

    Dumb game idea:
    Medieval Fashion Rebels.

    lerq0i1sax6w.jpeg

    Roll for your cap, tunic, trousers and boots.
    If you’re not wearing grey, brown or light blue the church will deem you sinful.
    If you’re wearing indigo or kermes you can convince someone you’re a noble, but you’re just as likely to be killed for your clothes.
    If you’re wearing black or red you gain a bonus to sneaking by night, a combo of green and brown to sneak in the woods.
    A full white outfit can be worn to briefly trick the clergy that you’re good, but white clothes don’t stay white long.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    What if I wear indigo panties but a brown tunic over it?

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    You picadilly whore

    Edit: Wearing white as I say this

    Whelk on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited August 2023
    You gotta make a Pantie Check when you do any physical task verses onlooker’s Vigilance Against Sins Unto God. You gain advantage if you’re wearing a good belt.

    If you’ve got a point in Rhetoric you can tell them off for staring.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    We talking about a Xanth RPG here.

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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Slowly adding more Path and Grace. One big design goal here is to condense down. I had started out with 15 Path powers per Path; 15 Grace powers per Grace; and about 25 professions. Now I'm having to make the hard cuts to get the ability bloat down.

    Fewer abilities, bigger impact. Cut this subsystem; can always do an expansion for it later. Condense the language and the abilities down.

    Today we have:
    The Grace of Air, Grace of the intellect! https://www.selnalora.com/players/grace/air/index.html
    The Crystal Swan, daughters of the Rose Queen and mercurial summons. As they grow in power, their pixie minder becomes a character in her own right, and a mature Swan dazzles with her action economy. https://www.selnalora.com/players/path/crystal-swan/index.html

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    IanatorIanator Gaze upon my works, ye mighty and facepalm.Registered User regular
    Been thinking a bit about my mech combat game. I'm trying to boil down some very video gamey stats into something that's manageable on paper and I *may* have had a breakthrough on that front.

    Cards. Specifically, a 3x3 card binder page.

    Two cards for the mech's stats and passives, two cards for the pilot's actions and modifiers, then the remaining five cards for attacks and other mech actions.

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    Twitch | Blizzard: Ianator#1479 | 3DS: Ianator - 1779 2336 5317 | FFXIV: Iana Ateliere (NA Sarg)
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    Did a quick oneshot playtest with some friends on Discord. Turns out my summoner class is horrendously overpowered. Man, who'd have thought? Well, I'm probably the first designer to accidentally make a summoner class OP...

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    The system for my RPG finally seems to be settling down a bit. Seems like I have to write the rules for any given passage about 3 times before they really hold up to player scrutiny.

    Proof-reading really is invaluable.

    So far the major issues I've seen have been more on the power and economy side. The core system (meaning how you roll dice, what dice to use, etc) seems to have finally settled in. Balance, however, is a little harder. I've been gradually reducing the size of bonuses over time, both numeric and dice powers, to see if I can sand to the power level I want.

    Book - Royal road - Free! Seraphim === TTRPG - Wuxia - Free! Seln Alora
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    Next week I get to do a virtual pitch to a publisher for a board game I've been working on for years. It's been finished with a playable prototype on tabletop simulator for over a year now, but I'm finally getting around to sending out sell sheets to publishers. I also made a physical prototype and will be playtesting it some more for good measure.

    The pitch will be during a speed pitching event, so I know I will just be one in hundreds and it's a very long shot. Still, it's the first time I'll get the game itself in front of a publisher rather than just a sell sheet.

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    JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    Speed pitching is intense! Is this an event the publisher is holding where they hear lots, or a third-party one where you'll be pitching the same game to lots of people? I've done the latter and it's draining, but one event did eventually result in a contract for me.

    In other news, gearing up to a KS campaign for a game launching in March. Equal parts anxious and excited.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    JonBob wrote: »
    Speed pitching is intense! Is this an event the publisher is holding where they hear lots, or a third-party one where you'll be pitching the same game to lots of people? I've done the latter and it's draining, but one event did eventually result in a contract for me.

    In other news, gearing up to a KS campaign for a game launching in March. Equal parts anxious and excited.

    They're doing lots. My impression is that I'll get put into a Zoom waiting room until my turn for a 10 minute pitch. From the sounds of things they are running these back to back all day, so I don't envy them. For my part, that ten minutes will probably wear me out emotionally for the whole day. :)

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    JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    Totally! You'll do great.

    If you want practice, I'd be happy to hear your pitch. Just PM me time options if so.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
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    RatherDashing89RatherDashing89 Registered User regular
    My speed pitch went quite well...got a no from the publisher but it was a good experience. I'm hoping to do some more, virtual events if there are any, but I'm also looking to carve out time to take the game to a convention.

    Does anyone here know much about speed pitching events in the eastern US? The three conventions that come to mind are Origins, GenCon, and Pax Unplugged, but I don't know if any of those do speed pitching or where to find out more info. The websites for those conventions don't mention it, but I'm assuming it would be a third party running the event so I'm not sure where to start.

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    JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    I have participated in speed pitching three times at Gen Con, run by a couple different organizations. One was Double Exposure, who also run the First Exposure Playtest Hall there. Indie Game Alliance ran the other, I believe. It's been a mixed bag, with some years having a lot of publisher attendance and others double booked against events that drew them away. And I don't know how I'd have any way to know which outcome is more likely.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
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    WhelkWhelk Registered User regular
    edited March 7
    Hey guys! I am demo-ing a little trick-taking game for some friends this weekend, and I'd like you guys to poke holes in a typed-out set of rules. The theme is competing students in an alchemy class trying to make their potion first to impress their teacher. In my doodles, this is currently Prof. Crabernathy, who is a gigantic crab wearing a tie.

    Goal: Complete your potion before your rivals! Each player will randomly be assigned a recipe card. An alternate take here might be several recipes at once or some kind of victory point tracking, but I think playtesting will bear that out.

    Set up:
    Each player chooses a wizard randomly. Each wizard has a power they can activate by discarding one of their favorite ingredients. There are also activated powers on odd-numbered ingredients.

    Each player then chooses a recipe randomly. Recipes will require a particular bill of cards to complete. Love Potion No. 7 Requires a 7 from each suit (4), a King and a Queen of any suit, for example.

    Play:
    Play is divided up into hands. Each hand begins with drawing 7 cards from the deck. I am aiming for variable numbers of players here, but might have to tweak this after the playtest.

    Players begin the round by flipping the top card of the remaining deck and playing their best card of that suit. Players must follow suit, if possible. The player who wins this first trick, begins the next. There are 5 tricks per hand. At the end of those 5 tricks, all players discard any remaining cards and draw a new hand of 7 cards. If a player no longer has enough cards to play in a trick, they flip cards from the top of the deck instead.

    Taking a trick lets you add one card to your potion's build.

    Powers:
    Players may use powers at three different times during play.
    1. Before the trick's first card is played.
    2. During their turn.
    3. After the trick.

    Powers range from adding a trump suit or changing which suit wins a trick to causing a chemical reaction in a targeted potion adding or removing ingredients. I am planning on it being a little chaotic, like a more structured Uno.

    If you all have any fun thematic ideas like a good name for any ingredients, recipes or students, I'd love to hear them. So far I have a bunch like Eye of the Beholder (D&D-esque,) Lightning in a Bottle, Frog Legs, Teenage Angst, Quicksilver, Ice Cubes for ingredients. And some of the potions like Diet Wiz-Fizz, Flea Juice, Trouble Tea, and Forget-Me-Now. The temporary suits are Solids, Liquids, Gases, and Energy. (Teenage Angst is an Energy.)

    Whelk on
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    JonBobJonBob Registered User regular
    Questions on first read here:
    - Are "ingredients" and "cards" the same thing? What is a "favorite ingredient?"
    - Why would a player not have cards left, if everyone starts with 7 and plays 5 in a hand?
    - When you take a trick, do you pick the card from the trick to put into a potion? Or is it the card you played?
    - Do potions carry over from hand to hand, or do you have to complete them within the hand?

    It sounds like there could be a lot of luck in the right cards coming out to be able to make your recipe. Perhaps consider a central set of recipes anyone could make, so you have some more choices about what to go for?

    Variable player powers can be fun but the interesting ones are a nightmare to balance. One way to combat this is to change them to things players acquire during the game. If the potions were easy to make and players make several of them over the game, then these could be the things that trigger the powers (a la Potion Explosion) so anyone could have access to them if they get there first.

    jswidget.php?username=JonBob&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=recentplays&imagesonly=1&imagepos=right&inline=1&domains%5B%5D=boardgame&imagewidget=1
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